# The Flaw of Averages

Lockheed EF-80 (P-80) prone pilot test aircraft

An interesting link from commenter Pauly about the danger of thinking in averages.

In the late 1940s planes in the United States airforce were mysteriously falling out of the sky. No mechanical faults could be found. A young researcher named Gilbert Daniels collected data on thousands of pilots body measurements to update the old 1928 averages and discovered there was no such thing as an average pilot. The cockpits were designed to fit a man that did not exist. Human variability is such that once three different factors were taken into account, even allowing the cutoff for “average” to include 30% of the population in each factor, a mere 3.5% of the population would match the average for all three.

Once more variables were considered, the bell curve got rapidly thinner:

The Flaw of Averages

Using the size data he had gathered from 4,063 pilots, Daniels calculated the average of the 10 physical dimensions believed to be most relevant for design, including height, chest circumference and sleeve length. These formed the dimensions of the “average pilot,” which Daniels generously defined as someone whose measurements were within the middle 30 per cent of the range of values for each dimension. So, for example, even though the precise average height from the data was five foot nine, he defined the height of the “average pilot” as ranging from five-seven to five-11. Next, Daniels compared each individual pilot, one by one, to the average pilot.

Before he crunched his numbers, the consensus among his fellow air force researchers was that the vast majority of pilots would be within the average range on most dimensions. After all, these pilots had already been pre-selected because they appeared to be average sized. (If you were, say, six foot seven, you would never have been recruited in the first place.) The scientists also expected that a sizable number of pilots would be within the average range on all 10 dimensions. But even Daniels was stunned when he tabulated the actual number.

Zero.

Out of 4,063 pilots, not a single airman fit within the average range on all 10 dimensions.

Gilberts remarkable conclusions meant that the Airforce did the unthinkable, they asked the manufacturers to build planes to fit individuals instead of averages, and adjustable seats, straps and helmets were invented. The planes stopped falling out of the sky.  It’s an interesting read from a new book The End of Average by L. Todd Rose.

The feature also describes how women were similarly measured and similarly failed to be “average”, but the conclusions were that it was the fault of the women, and they needed to be fitter (and presumably the seeds of the aerobics revolution were born).

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### 163 comments to The Flaw of Averages

• #

This is statistical proof that people are INDIVIDUALS and not members of an undifferentiated hive. Reality demands that people be treated as INDIVIDUALS because that is what they are. Yet, in our so called modern progressive age, people are more and more being herded into a small set of undifferentiated hives.

Only hives of victims are to have rights and to have a say about how everyone else is to live. If you are a member of a totally differentiated hive of INDIVIDUALS, you are fair game to be herded, abused, used, and discarded in the event you fail to produce the goods for all the members of the undifferentiated hives of victims.

Ironically, it is the INDIVIDUAL that is becoming the victim of our brave new era. Yet, because we stand apart, are productive, take careful care of ourselves and those whom we love, and fervently wish to live our own lives as we individually see fit, we are not permitted to do so. We become members of the Outcast Hive who are to pay the bills for the rest of the hives and take the blame for anything that goes wrong.

When the world becomes filled with parasites, it is time to refuse to be a host and stop feeding them.

• #
Graeme No.3

I notice that in the UK there was an internet poll to find a name for the new £200 million climate research vessel.
A huge 120,000 voted for Boaty McBoatface. The Government is talking of ignoring this.
Considering that other suggestions were Huge Dog Penis and TitsBucket I think they got off lightly.

Do you get the impression that the public aren’t that keen on Climate ‘Research’ ?

• #
OriginalSteve

NO, I think its proof that giving the average ( dim ) public access to a “smart” phone is proof some humans irresponsibly stupid ( the ones who came up with the stupid shp name to start with ) , and many just follow along like sheep ( the dim wits who voted for a stupid name )….

Now – extrapolate that to the ability of the same people who vote for our leaders and also be mislead by “climate research” and you have your answer…..

• #

Lionell
When you describe society as a “hive“, you are following in the footsteps of Dr Bernard, who wrote the poem The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits and later book at the end of the seventeenth century. Liberty Fund has published the full book online. His most famous line was

The worst of all the Multitude Did something for the Common Good.

What can seem to outsiders as being a mass of people pursuing their selfish interests and competing against each other, can in an economic system that allows competition produce a more beneficial outcome for the Common Good than a planned society, particularly one based on egalitarianism – that is everyone conforming to the average.

• #
michael hart

Good point, Kevin.
We can’t all be genius super-heroes. But if we are motivated to be only a tiny little bit better than average, then the average may continuously improve.

• #

Agreed but the result is a consequence rather than a justification. The justification for leaving individuals alone to pursue their objective self interest in a free market competitive/trading economy is that is the only organization of human kind that supports the existence and thriving of individual humans.

Adam Smith noted this as a fact a long time ago. The bleeping “progressive” parasites know it too but their goal is not to live, it is to make sure you die as painfully and slowly as possible. They would rather die themselves as you die, than live and know that you are living joyously and abundantly without any permission from them.

• #

Until you have actually sat on an ejection seat inside the cockpit of a combat aircraft, you don’t realise the confined space pilots have to work in. Close the canopy, and they have an inch overhead above the top of their helmet. They deserve every penny they’re paid.

Those Martin Baker ejection seats are narrow too, and not at all comfortable, with barely an inch or two either side of your hips, with a further inch to the side panels. Start the switch check from the left rear and work forward, then the front console left to right top to bottom, and then down the right side.

I got to work on five of them, Canberra, Sabre, Macchi, Mirage and F-111, which had a relatively comfortable seat because the whole pod was ejected.

The most careful work that the pilots did on entering the cockpit was the strapping in procedure, again a set routine. They’d check that we had removed and stowed three of the seat pins, and once seated, just like us, the first thing they reached for was the seat adjustment switch. Then one strap at a time, leg straps first, then the two waist straps, the groin strap, and then each shoulder strap, and then they’d pull them tight, really tight. Then he’d pull the lower pin, and you got the upper pin, then show the pilot the actual pins, and not just the red dayglo strap, and then pocket the pins, and then he was on his own. When you have to trust the ability of the seat to save your life if needed, that focuses the mind. I never met a pilot who wasn’t picky when it came to all this.

Tony.

• #
gigdiary

That is a fascinating story, Tony. You’ve had an impressive and most interesting career.

• #
Roy Hogue

I never met a pilot who wasn’t picky when it came to all this.

Check lists, check lists and more check lists. It’s all about only one thing, the desire to get home again at the end of the flight. We’re picky about every last detail all the time.

• #
Rereke Whakaaro

I applied to join the airforce as a pilot. I went through a whold barrage of aptitude tests, and thought I was doing pretty well.

That was, until I went for the medical. During the medical examination I give a whole lot of tasks to perform, such as matching colours, and stuff.

I did pretty well at that, as well, and thought I was on a winner. That was, until I stood up. The Medical Examiner, sitting at a desk, looked up at me and asked, “how tall are you?” “Six foot one”, I proudly replied.

Whereupon he grabbed a tape measure and measured the length of my thigh, to the knee. “Sorry, not aircrew.” he said. “If you had to eject, you would end up without any legs, and you wouldn’t be six foot one any more”, and marked my paper as Not Aircrew, and that was that.

• #
Annie

The famous ‘bum to knee’ measurement. Ruled one of our sons out too as far as the RAF were concerned. Not quite such a problem in commercial flying.

Will the ‘b’ word put me into moderation?

• #
Manfred

It was the -5 dioptres that kept me out of the RAF and commercial aviation, that and a father who insisted pilots were playboys. Didn’t stop me flying gliders and fixed wing for 25 years though!

• #
toorightmate

Annie,
You are OK with the “b” word.
But only because you are a nice person.

• #
Annie

A thumbs up for that toorightmate!

• #
Yonniestone

I remember those bloody stupid aptitude tests…… 🙂

• #

In my time with Flying Squadrons, four of them spread across 11 years, I never met an average sized pilot. No overweight ones either. They varied in height from five two to six two.

You could always tell the ‘shorties’. When you got into the cockpit to do the after flight, or the refuel, (when you need to set the pumps and crossflow) the seat would be fully up.

And they would all be drenched with sweat when they climbed out, even with the aircon on in that confined space.

Tony.

• #
Doubting Thomas

As an air traffic controller, I had ejector seat rides in a Vampire, Macchi, and a dual Mirage. The Vampire’s ejector seats were early models, narrow and hellishly uncomfortable for anyone above about 5 feet tall, and two six footers side by side were, to put it mildly, in constant touch. I found the Macchi’s rear seat quite comfortable with oodles of room for my 6 foot frame. Both the Vampire and Macchi had more than enough head room for me to reach the overhead handle, but I had no hope of easily reaching the Mirage’s overhead handle. If I had to go, it was the seat pan handle or nothing, and I seem to recall that this was the option ‘my’ pilot recommended in the pre-flight briefing. (Maybe he just hated air traffic controllers.) A dual Mirage was a sauna taxiing or at low level, and particularly in the tropics where I had my trip. Much fun, though.

• #

Funny, being a ground crew tradesman, (oddly) most of us were reticent to take the sometimes offered ride in a dual Mirage. At 76 Sqn, we had the oldest of them A3-101, and no one wanted to ride in that, umm, even most pilots as it was a bit of a dog really. At 77 Sqn, they had A3-104, not much better, but nowhere near as prone to unserviceabilities as old 101. When we got the extra new Duals from France in the mid 70’s, they added A3-116 to 77 Sqn, brand new from France, and back seat rides became fairly popular as, being new it was a good one.

The only time I was offered a back seat ride was when I was with 5OTU, and they flew Sabres and Macchis. I got offered the back seat for a one hour Macchi sortie with a young FltLt. It took me a week to get all the lectures and prep done, and most of the concentration was on the ejection seat procedure. If there was the need to eject, the pilot would say “Eject eject eject” those three procedural words. If you, as the rear seat passenger were still in the aircraft, it was then all yours to, umm, do whatever you wanted to do. You were expected to pull the handle before he had finished the first word.

Anyway, come the actual day of the flight, well, blow me down, they disbanded the whole d@mned Squadron. Not that it happened immediately on that day, but all sorties were canceled for the day, so I missed out, and as it turned out, that was my only chance ever.

As it turned out, we had one last deployment, to Amberley, the last farewell tour for those trusty old Sabres. Three weeks. Best deployment I was ever on, because we were almost celebrities, as everyone wanted to check out those old Swords.

As it happened, we lost one of them at 5.30AM on an early start. The pilot was the young FltLt I was scheduled to fly with that day in the Macchi. Those Sabres were a dog to eject from, and we lost a few pilots on ejections. The ejection seat was designed by North American, the manufacturers of the Sabre. This young guy got out okay though, and got his obligatory tie pin for a successful ejection.

Years later, when I was at 77 Sqn, this same pilot lost a Mirage, and had a second successful ejection, this time on the Martin Baker seat, hence a second tie pin, one of a very very select few in the RAAF with 2 tie pins, and didn’t that win him a beer or two in the Mess.

I was sorta glad the Squadron was disbanded the day I was scheduled to fly.

Those back seat rides in the Mirage were evidently well received, but the guys first question was ….. 104 or 116, and in the main, that usually decided whether or not they took the ride.

Big thrill though. Those dual Mirages were restricted in speed because of that big bubble canopy to include the back seat and all the extras, not actually restricted but not capable of the Mach 2+ (1450MPH) of the single seaters. Still, they could manage Mach 1.6, and the thrill for those who got that back seat ride was to be able to go through life and say that they actually travelled at 1000 MPH, part of the actual one hour ride you got, out over the ocean.

Wonderful days, all of them, even those dreaded gunnery programs.

Incidentally, our Australian Sabre had the Rolls Royce Avon engine, and were a far superior plane to the original American ones. Started with a gas, IsoPropylNitrate, IPN, but shh! don’t tell anyone just how damned toxic that stuff was.

Tony.

• #
Mick In The Hills

Tony, what pins did they get for the Mile High club?
(or were those awards classified?)
🙂

• #

Sorry Mick,

Any award for the mile high club in such cramped confines would be a, umm, manual award.

And at Mach 2, it could cover a lot of distance.

(Sorry Mods and Joanne, but I just couldn’t help the humour)

Tony

• #
AndyG55

40 to 80 km isn’t that far !

• #
Doubting Thomas

I can’t remember which dual I flew in, but it belonged to 75 SQN in Butterworth in 1971, so it was one of the earlier series. We didn’t go supersonic. It’s hard to forget that “Eject, Eject, Eject” briefing, and the dual also had a series on three lights (angle of incidence?) on the top of the rear seat instrument panel which the pilot would flash in a certain way if the intercom failed. If I remember correctly, you were going first, ready or not if the pilot initiated his ejected, or perhaps that was the Phantom with rocket-powered seats which would fry the rear seater if he didn’t go first.

As for the Australian Sabre, IIRC, the problem wasn’t so much the North American seat but the cockpit canopy that dished downwards when the canopy was jettisoned at the first stage of the ejection sequence. The metal frame at the leading edge of the canopy bow tended to strike the pilot’s head as it separated from the rails. When they found the bodies of a couple of pilots with major injuries to their heads, they came up with a solution which installed a bolt in the top of the seat that fired through the canopy shattering it as the first step in the ejection sequence. The seat and passenger then went straight out. I never heard that the USAF had the same problem with their F86s but the airframe of our Sabre with the AVON engine differed significantly from the F86 with about 60 percent having to be redesigned to take the larger engine, not to mention the fitment of two 30mm cannons in place of the six machine guns in the F86. Lovely, lovely aircraft it was, and it’s great that there are still two airworthy with one currently flying. The RAAF’s ex-Royal Malaysian Air Force Sabre at the Temora Aviation Museum was recently grounded because Martin Baker no longer support the model seat that was installed in place of the old North American seat. I believe there are plans to get it flying again.

• #

Tony, my father’s last flight of WWII was in Lancaster KI3834 from Canada to Scotland (Dorval – Gander – Prestwick) a flight of 14 hours and 30 minutes. Looking at Youtube videos it is really surprising that an aircraft that could carry 10 or 12 ton bombs had such a cramped interior – the pilots literally shoulder to shoulder.

However, as the subject is averages, Dad was outside the error bars all the way through. His education was far below average for acceptance into the RAF (the RNZAF wouldn’t have him), he completed 57 ops in Wellingtons (he and one other survived the war from his Dishforth intake of 50), he then went on to complete a further 25 ops on Mosquito’s with 487 Sqn. The average bloke didn’t make it.

He finished the war as Wing Commander in the RNZAF with DFC and Bar.

OT and all, I know, but it is coming up to 25th April.

We Will Remember Them

• #
Annie

That’s good to read FijiDave. You must be proud of him.

• #

Too right, Annie!

• #
Ross

Not much room in the cockpit? Well it’s not as if they were going to read or have meal.

[…or say anything relevant.] AZ

• #
Roy Hogue

Then, Ross, I suggest you try spending hour after hour in a cramped cockpit and THEN tell us what you think about it. Cramped spaces are not a joke, especially when your life is on the line.

• #
Steve Richards

Most fascinating Tony!

Moving onto global temperature…..

Does this give us an insight into the issues around trying to establish a terrestrial global temperature?

Sensors have their issues which give problems when someone tries to average them, location issues, distances apart, homogenisation etc gives a whole new set of problems.

This new book should give a new inkling into the preference for satellite only data from now on?

• #
Greg Cavanagh

I think the first issue is; what does an average temperature tell you? How is it useful?

• #
Greg Cavanagh

And John below has a link to a wind power article. The wind industry also likes to use averages to represent their power output.

• #
FrankH

“…the conclusions were that it was the fault of the women…”

It’s always been the woman’s fault. All the way back to the Garden of Eden when Adam said “The woman made me eat the apple”. 😉

• #
AZ1971

Well, yes, but Adam was really only interested not in the apple, but pie.

• #
OriginalSteve

Adam should have known better…he was ultimately responsible for both of them….

• #
el gordo

Why did the deity use Adam’s rib to make Eve?

Was it an afterthought or intelligent design?

• #
OriginalSteve

I think its best explained as a way of making the point that men and women become as one “body” when they marry….a kind of “coming home” to each other. Genesis has verses to this effect.

• #
Annie

Excuses, excuses…

• #
gigdiary

It’s always been the woman’s fault

Not anymore, Frank. It’s now all the fault of old white men.

• #
FrankH

I stand corrected. 🙁

I just wish the old order could have lasted another 50 years or so and let another generation deal with the new. I kind of like the idea of being a male chauvinist, holding doors open for ladies and pretending they don’t pass wind.

• #
gigdiary

I agree wholeheartedly!

• #
TdeF

So we create one number, just one. It represents the temperature of the planet from day to night, summer to winter, pole to equator to pole and say that it is meaningful? That would be like one dimension which described and represented all standard pilots. Such ‘global temperature’ is science nonsense. Even so changes in this artificial global temperature are not happening over a long period, but if they did, how do you ascribe it to one and only one cause, CO2?

Consider too that we humans work within a very narrow range of temperatures. Our bodies are maintained at 98.4F/36.9C and along with many other things are homeostatic. Water freezes at 0C, so these two numbers are very significant in our lives and we live in a very narrow zone of temperatures. I have read that without clothes a human would die in constant 14C. We expand this range with manufacturing and coal, both of which are allegedly changing this magic world temperature.

However the world of chemistry however in absolute and cares little about ‘our’ zero which is a huge 273 on the real Kelvin scale. So the entire fuss is about 0.8K or 0.3% change in 150 years in a number which has no meaning and even so is remarkably stable. We can always put on a shirt.

Now big wind, big solar and the UN have given up on “Global Warming” and now rather talk about ‘Climate Change’. No one even bothers to explain how CO2 causes Climate Change or Extreme Events and in fact which climates are changing.

For example, in Australia our huge taxation funded CSIRO commonwealth scientific and industrial research organization has decided that Australia’s climate was irreparably and substantially damaged by CO2 in the 20th century. After some years, they could not actually prove or even explain this, so their new boss has decided it is obviously true and they need to move on. So much for science.

Now the same scientists are going to teach us how to deal with this disaster. Lucky us. At what point did a whole organization lose touch with reality? How many scientists does it take to come up with a CSIRO diet at a cost of a billion dollars a year, \$200 every year for every family in the country? How lucky are we to have such scientists caring about our health and climate! Then we have to pay another \$200 for our ABC to tell us how to think, especially about ‘The Science’ of changes to our Global Temperature.

Why should we pay for such science and advice? The only real solution is to sell them all, the CSIRO, the ABC/SBS and the BOM. If they are valuable, we get the money back. If they are worthless, they are. I suspect the latter, but at least the nonsense and cost would stop. You can get a diet for free from the internet.

• #

As Ms. Gillard said about global warming and her carbon tax (there will be no carbon tax on the government I lead) whom do you believe, the scientists of the CSIRO and BOM, or other unqualified commentators?

Clearly, the politicians still believe advice from these August bodies, though evidence to support their hypothesis has to be “homogenised” to support it. To get warming forget the pre 1900 data and cool the other early data, and ignore historical warm periods such as Roman and Medieval times, and the Little Ice Age when temperatures were both demonstrably both warmer and cooler than today’s climate. Why would one have these meetings (political Junkets) in Copenhagen Paris or Cancun otherwise?

In regard to carbon dioxide, the gas which is mandatory for life on this planet and occurs with a concentration of 0.04% in the atmosphere, demonise it but don’t provide any imperical data such a positive correlation to support it with this mythical global temperature.

• #
OriginalSteve

I believe that it sets a bad example for kids – if pollies believe others rather than checking stuff for themselves, it creates a culture of offloading responsibility onto other people.

Having said that, its clear the reason the IPCC was created was to create a “yardstick” to use to claim as infallible, and everyone else leveraging off that, never mind the whole thing is a scam and the main method of defence by the CAGW crowd is yelling people down…which isnt science, its bully boy tactics.

There are some things like trusting your airframe mechanics etc, but having said that, pilots *still* walk around an aircraft to visually check it before flight …. heck, I would too ……

• #
Graeme No.3

TdeF:

If you haven’t read it try https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/19/systematic-error-in-climate-measurements-the-surface-air-temperature-record/
In other words their temperature figures aren’t accurate to start with, so after adjustment they are unbelievable.

• #
Ken Stewart

OK, scientists can calculate an average temperature or an average woman. But who decides what is ideal? What is a pleasant day in Hobart would be far from pleasant in Cairns. I am amazed that we are still told that a temperature is above average. Haven’t the temperature gurus in the Bureau heard of normal distribution? Those who quantify droughts have. “Average” is from the 30th to 70th percentile of rainfall. Why not similar for temperatures?

• #
Bulldust

A corollary of the pilot example is that if scientists examine enough different sets of data they will always find a few that exhibit anomalies that will pass statistical tests and generate favourable (for publishing purposes) p-values. That is why so much hogwash is passed off as peer reviewed science anymore … mere statistical outliers that aren’t significant in any real sense of the word. The whole argument that “there is only one chance in xxx” that this would be so, therefore we expect there is a causal relationship is garbage when one slices up dozens of data sets.

There is no chance in science… it is a statistical mirage. Science has cause and effect, the trick being to identify them. The following quote is apropos:

“If your experiment needs a statistician, you need a better experiment.”
― Ernest Rutherford

This is why I have an issue with mere statistical, trend, technical (financial) type analysis. It tells us absolutely nothing of significance about what governs the system of interest. You spotted a pattern /whoop. My response “come back when you understand the system.”

I used to teach intro finance – one of the things I would do is show a timeline graph of prices, and point out some technical type shapes. After a couple minutes of that, I would mention it was generated by a random number generator in excel, simply adding +1 or -1 in each time period. Wonderful patterns emerge which are entirely meaningless. At least a Mandlebrot Set has an underlying function… my graph had nothing, just noise.

• #
Roy Hogue

Holy cow! I’m vindicated. 🙂

• #
Graeme No.3

I never realised you are a Hindu. THERE, I beat Rereke.

• #
KinkyKeith

That wasn’t an autocorrect version of Vindaloo.

Vindicate stands on its own and comes from the Latin root “vine”.

According to the CE dictionary the term was coined in about 1571 when a man was accused by villagers of a minor crime and metaphorically “covered” by a vine of interwoven allegations.
It was only when one of the village maids arrived and explained the real circumstances that the vine of accusations was cut away, thus freeing the poor fellow.

The maids name, of course, was Cate and from that day on any man who is freed of the weight of unjust accusations is being vindicated.

I’m not sure I believe that but it is in the CE dictionary.

As an old white male I sometimes feel the weight of vines , as Lionell and Gigdiary have mentioned above, and now wait to be Vindicated like that poor old villager so long ago.

KK

• #
Robk

So it should be “catedivined”.

• #
KinkyKeith

Now Roy I think that you are reading things into my comment that aren’t there.
🙂

• #
KinkyKeith

Autocorrect again.

Rob

• #
gigdiary

Kinky Keith, you’re having a lend of us. Nonetheless, that is a wonderful turn of phrase, ‘the weight of the vines’.

I often feel the weight of the vines when I read the newspapers or watch the ABC.

My gender, generation and Caucasian heritage are apparently responsible for all the woes in today’s world. Strangely, it was those of my gender, generation and heritage who invented personal computers, the internet and many of the mobile technologies that the supposedly subjugated masses depend upon today.

• #
KinkyKeith

True Gig.

I doubt that the Climate English dictionary of John Cook would be much use for anything.

When you read all of the stories in this post, with the human cost associated with the development of the ejection seat as prime example, you feel gratitude for the efforts made by those in the armed forces.

I have written before about the young Sabre pilot who ejected from his aircraft while upside down about 150 yards from where I used to live. Both he and his aircraft impacted about 80 yards apart. Tragic.

Their ABC by contrast is sickening to watch. Last night I had it on for 5 minutes while some young clown with a gapped tooth look tried to look intelligent while he and his mate did a political piece about the US elections.

This claptrap is pushed on viewers who are looking for common sense and guidance.

All that comes from ABC is flippant modernism.

Kk

• #
KinkyKeith

Gigdiary

We are at Saint Albans this weekend with 3 items in our gigdiary. At snallbans pub yesterday a couple of blokes did some impromptu banjo stuff. One even knew The Arkansas Traveler.

• #
Roy Hogue

Guys, if I’d known vindicated would get so complicate I’d just have said,

Holy cow! I’m right after all,

and be done with it.

My English teacher was right when she said, “Never send a 10 dollar word to do a job a 10 cent word can do.” 😉

• #
KinkyKeith

Roy
It’s a long weekend over here and people relax a bit when they don’t have to go to work.

• #
Roy Hogue

…as we do here also. I wasn’t pointing at anyone else as much as I was pointing at myself. I get tempted to use “big” words and I really should resist that, even when I’m writing for an audience of well educated readers who’ll have no problem understanding those “big” words.

But it’s all in good fun. 🙂

• #
Mike

Reminds me of the ‘flat earth days’. People kept on falling over the edge into the abyss until the ‘consensus’ idea was removed completely.

• #
john

Dear Jo or moderators. Here is a major breaking story and feel free to run with it.

http://dailybail.com/home/sune-sets-sunedison-files-for-bankruptcy.html

• #
Mike

Then it would need to be explained how a cooling economic climate means people have less money and how less money means that there are less CO2 emissions because people cannot buy petrol or heat their homes.

I have seen this blindness over and over in both camps. It is a real problem as the process and effect of printing money is behind so much of what we are seeing., You could explain to the average person a million times about how money is printed out of thin air by private persons, but it would never click.

• #
ianl8888

You could explain to the average person a million times about how money is printed out of thin air by private persons, but it would never click

Neither would the truth that printed money is not real: it needs actual production behind it to make it so. Fauxfacts hates that, by the way.

• #
Mike

“it needs actual production behind it to make it so.”

I give you a AAA credit rating so you can borrow as much as you like, even if you don’t want to work and produce more comments. If you default, i get to own all of your comments keyboard, and your mouse. 🙂

• #
ianl8888

No problemo 🙂

The concept of actual production is not a leftoid one – they simply prefer that other (unnamed) groups should do that. They just go on writing rubbish to make people “aware” of whatever flavour du jour they currently have.

Now you can have my crappy old mouse. As for comments, it’s just all so dreary. Lord Waffle will win the lower House (albeit with a much reduced majority, I can only hope for a single-seat majority, with thr deciding vote belonging to Abbott), and the Senate will have Xenophobic as its’ regulator.

• #
• #

Interesting, but going a little further on this link there is an article “Why WindPower doesn’t work”, in summary the need for back-up generation when it’s not windy. They had a day with 1% production; we had one a few days ago 100 MW from 3669 MW of capacity.

• #
Mike

Robert thinks it is interesting, but cannot say why. The reason wind power does work is because money is printed out of thin air Roberto. Follow the money.

• #
Mike

Weather they like it or not, the average person is so attracted to money that is printed by private persons. To such a degree, that if it is present the average person will be happy to work at making pigs fly.

It is a modern miracle of social conditioning from an early age.

• #
Len

Whether

• #
Mike

Len, i averaged it out and “weather” is fine here at my keyboard..

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john

One thing to consider besides backup is the Wind/solar (weather) derivatives markets. If you go back to my article link above and scroll down a few comments I touch on the derivatives issue there. In next weeks article I will discuss derivatives in better detail. Here is my comment:

Weather Derivatives Backed By Climate Change Clamor

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/05/07/367252.htm

According to William W. Windle, managing director of Munich Re Trading LLC, business has been brisk lately in the weather derivatives market.

Evans launched Artemis in 1999, and as a long-time market expert he has watched the market change from the time of the Enron collapse to energy regulation to its current evolutionary phase. In the last few years, he’s seen growing interest from insurers and reinsurers, and he thinks that interest is going to continue to build thanks to changing appetites, investors seeking ever-diverse opportunities and talk of climate change.

“I think it’s something that should pick up,” said Evans, whose site reports an average of 30,000 readers per month. “I think it makes sense as a product, since every business is exposed to the weather. I think the real opportunity, and where we’ll see the market growth, is how big companies can bundle weather components in insurance policies for large corporations. I think a lot of insurance and reinsurance companies would like to be offering complex solutions combining weather products.”

Evans and other experts credit climate change, or more precisely all the publicity climate change gets, with helping to make people more aware of the weather, and helping drive interest in weather derivatives and weather-related financial products.

=======

More on wind derivatives here:

More on solar derivatives here:

http://www.meike.com/solarpaces.au/symposium/papers/Kist1.pdf

john

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toorightmate

My bet is that Oh Bummer will fix that with a handsome grant.

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Anoneumouse

Heed and lock on. That looks like a Nassa Schmidt

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Roy Hogue

Great pun!

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Glen Michel

Very good.

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tom0mason

Obviously finding all the expected average pilots was not correct because they did not have enough very large data samples. The Law Of Large Numbers as postulated by the mathematician Gerolamo Cardano (1501–1576) stated without proof, that the accuracies of empirical statistics tend to improve with the number of trials.

On the other hand non-average women just need to exercise more often, aerobically or anaerobically.

• #
Greg Cavanagh

It’s clear that the statisticated average value is correct, it is the people who are the wrong sort of people.

Or: We know that people are || tall; due to measurement error, we need to employ a homogenisation routine to determine the real value of the arm lengths and leg lengths. We know what answer we’ll get.

• #

Greg Cavanagh mentions this:

We know that people are || tall; due to measurement error, we need to employ a homogenisation routine…..

Even the average person is subject to averages.

I joined the RAAF when I was 15 years and 9 Months old. When I arrived at Laverton to begin my apprenticeship, there were 72 of us, all still boys. I was the second shortest at five foot three. Over the next two years I shot up to be right on the desired six feet tall.

When Oz changed to metric, I was measured for my new driver licence, and my height was 184Cm. (six feet)

I’ve been that all my life ….. well you would think so anyway.

This time last year our family GP gave me the full medical to see how I was going. He was proud that his off the cuff remark to start walking to alleviate my debilitating lower back problem had actually worked, as that constant pain is now a thing of the past, now almost two and a half years back. One of the by products of this walking has been that I have lost 16 KG in weight, so that’s why he was so proud. Anyway, during this full medical, he asked my height and I just replied with the (believed) response of 184Cm.

He said “No way, you’re not 184.” I was indignant as that has been the height on my driver licence all my life, and I never expected it to be anything else.

He measured me in his rooms on their height checking device, and lo and behold, 179Cm. I scoffed and said flat out that was wrong, as I had always been 184Cm.

He then took me out of his rooms and to the treatment room and asked an independent nurse to measure my height. Yep. 179Cm.

Then he explained to me that over the years we do get shorter. I sort of suspected this, but not to the extent of a full two inches. He was pretty adamant that was about the average height loss over years from twenties to mid 60’s.

So then, my average height from joining the RAAF to that driver licence measurement (160 to 184) is 172Cm.

My average height from joining the RAAF to now (160 to 179) is 169.5Cm.

So, over time, even averages of averages change.

It’s pretty much meaningless really.

Tony.

PostScript – Incidentally, joining the RAAF at the age of 15. Just how many of you would be chuffed and then go on to actually allow your own 15 year old child or grandchild to join the Military, if they asked to, not that it would happen these days at that age any more. Remember now back to your primary school days and those early Australian Navigators and explorers. Remember Bass and Flinders. George Bass joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14, as an ….. apprentice surgeon. When he arrived in Oz, as a ship’s doctor, he was keen amateur sailor, now with ten years in the Navy. Still only 24, he hooked up with another young Navy guy, Matthew Flinders, who was only 21. The pair of them would go sailing in George’s tiny 8 foot rowboat with a jury rigged small sail. They were adventurous, and sailed that tiny little tub ….. out through Sydney heads, and, umm, just turned right, thus beginning their voyages of discovery and exploration. Still just kids really. How times change.

• #
Analitik

Who would want their kids harrassed and assaulted by the greentard protesters?

• #
gigdiary

Tony, your post is most apropos to the phone conversation I had last night with my 86 year old Mum. She sounded choked up. I asked if she had a cold and she replied that she was a bit tearful from watching an ABC show about Anzac Day. Her older brother was in the RAAF and died in an airplane accident just after the war. During WW2 he flew missions in Burma and was stationed later in New Guinea. She said he stayed in the RAAF after the war because the commercial airlines wanted pilots who had flown bombers not the smaller fighters like the Spitfire.

My uncle was 25 when he died. I remarked about his young age and she reminded me that my Dad joined the Merchant Navy in 1943 at the age of 16. Dad was tall for his age. He went from cabin boy to Captain, Master Mariner in short shrift.

Dad was always taller than me, until I was in my late forties. Then I began looking down rather than up to talk to him.

• #
Yonniestone

In honor of an artist way above average in life today the rain will be purple.

RIP Prince Rogers Nelson.

• #

Determining the average data trends has similar issues with no two trends being the same. But, unlike with people, you can make adjust the data to conform to what you believe the average should look like. It is known as temperature homgenization. Some of these adjustments are legitimate. But others are to conform to the partially errant idea that variation in trends in a particular are due to measurements biases and not due to real variations. For example last year I looked at 26 temperature stations across Southern Africa. What I found was the further you go back in time, the sparser the data – particularly before 1950. The sparser data meant the variations between the data was greater as trends vary with distance. As a result homogenization tends to flatten past trends more than recent ones.
The problem is exacerbated by another issue. The climate alarmists have a very biased view of how the data should look. This is Kevin Trenberth to Micheal Mann & others on 12 Oct 2009 (emphasis mine)

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

When homogenization takes place again and again, and the adjusters do not allow for their own beliefs, then the data will end up conforming to those beliefs. The biased data sets are not due to a conspiracy, but due to dogma. Much of that is down to people not understanding the limitations of averaging.

• #
Robk

Data are a result of our measurements and records.
Averages and processing are our attempts to summarize those data into something meaningful. This is not always possible for a variety of reasons.

• #
Roy Hogue

In the case of a large population an average can tell you what to expect if you’re, say, a life insurance company because the average lifespan tells you how to set policy premiums so you make money instead of going bust. But you can’t apply that average to single individuals because they’ll probably all differ from that average.

I think the concept of average becomes meaningless altogether in the case of climate change because temperatures are an instantaneous thing, not static and they’re different from one place to another and from one time to another even in the same place. A few days in a few consecutive years where the maximum temperature or the average daily temperature exceeds some known prior maximum proves nothing. You need many hundreds of years of records to get a reliable picture of how temperature behaves and we don’t have that. And then, who among us has the instruction manual for Earth that tells us what the right temperature is?

• #
• #
Peter C

In the late 1940s planes in the United States airforce were mysteriously falling out of the sky. No mechanical faults could be found

That seems to be still happening, if the stories I see on the news most weekends are any guide.

• #
AndyG55

I do have to wonder why they were looking for average pilots for war planes. ???

• #
Greg Cavanagh

It’s an average war?

• #
tom0mason

In the ongoing Behrens–Fisher conflict, this above the median, mean little skirmish is well below average.

• #
James Murphy

Maybe someone got mixed up, and used ‘average’ instead of ‘mean’?

• #
Rereke Whakaaro

Would ‘mean’ be better than ‘nasty’, in an average war?

• #
Yonniestone

I once read that boxing is “a quiet rage transformed to art”, I now think that few average people have the ability to control their nasty behaviour.

• #
el gordo

“I am simply challenging the illogic of the proposition being advanced by the Labor party who say, on the one hand, that the science is settled but, on the other hand, say it is a disgraceful thing that we should make adjustments to our premier public sector scientific research agency that would reflect the fact that the science is settled.”

George Brandis / Oz

• #
Ted O'Brien.

Every day this its still visible.

Surely one of the most important features in a new motor car is a comfortable seat for the driver. Yet all new cars seem to be sold on a one size fits all basis. I have long wondered why new cars are not sent out to the dealers with no driver’s seat, and the dealers should have a range of at least three seats for the purchasers to choose from.

• #
Greg Cavanagh

Not a bad idea; They could be velour, leather and Recaro.

• #
Rereke Whakaaro

Or bottle crate, suitcase, and kitchen stool. I know of countries where the choice is considered a fashion statement.

• #
Rocky

Another flaw which went for decades

. More than 3,000 mainstream biologists were sent to prison or fired or executed as a part of this campaign instigated by Lysenko

The term Lysenkoism is also used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives

Source wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism

• #
WayneT

Does a global average temperature really have a meaning for any individual or anybody living in either a hot or cold region. I mean, if your zone never reaches the average global temperature – what is the point? As we know, areas that are currently experiencing colder than usual temperatures can’t relate to a global average that might be increasing. Maybe saying that the ‘Global’ average temperature is rising is actually pointless as a measurement of how the climate is fairing world wide. Maybe we need to start differentiating between zones or hemispheres as a proper indication of what is happening. But I guess that would highlight the fact there is no ‘Global’ crisis and that the Earth naturally carries out a self regulating balancing act.

• #
Greg Cavanagh

Regional weather is what is usually studied and reported. Global weather is of interest to scientists (the old variety) to determine how the whole system works. It’s more of an intellectual pursuit than anything else.

This Global Warming thing was original a scientific curiosity, then it became a political expedience because; like environmentalism, it’s hard to argue against.

• #
Geoff Sherrington

This pilot topic was meant to be used to see if the math was applicable to other cases in life. It immediately set me thinking about climate model runs being averaged; then these averages combined to give a model mean as in the CMIP processes. Is the pilot example a part explanation for the unease felt in arriving at an average this way?
I think I have to revisit some of the basic postulates of statistics, like representation of a population through sampling a sub-population.

• #
Robk

It’s certainly another layer of statistics Geoff.

One extra problem is: the earth’s temperature, as measured a metre or two above it’s surface. It’s an arbitrary surface in a complex system of energy flow which we compartmentalize for our convenience into things like atmosphere, heliosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere etc. The energy is swirling throughout.
To try to establish an average temperature of our earth’s surface is akin to a child trying to catch the wind. The energy is never at a particular temperature for more than a fleeting moment, depending on the resolution you desire.

• #
Robk

The post Jo did last year on the paper from the “French Mathematical Society” gave an idea of the data required.

• #
toorightmate

With all the people you meet as you go through life, you would think there would be a few average people.
I have never met one.

• #
Greg Cavanagh

Some years ago I was a budding artist just getting into painting the human form. I sat in the middle of a busy mall and studied people as they walked by. After about half an hour I also came to the conclusion that there is no such person as “average”.

• #
Paul Bamford

O/T
I saw an article in the news this morning about coral bleaching in North Queensland. Apparently caused by “Global waring”. According to the BOM web site, the average annual temperature at the Ayr DPI Research Stn near Townsville in 1952 was 29.9 deg. C, and in 2014 it was 29.1 deg. C and in 2015 it was 30.1 deg C. So the average of the last two years of the record is cooler than the average temperature in 1952 when the records began. So 1952 was not “cherry picked”. Why then do so-called “scientists” keep blaming Global Warming for it when a 2 minute search of the BOM website shows it didn’t happen in that part of the world.

• #
Rick Will

Off topic but worth noting as you are unlikely to get this information as news from the ABC:
:“With the end of the season approaching and only three cyclones so far, the 2015-16 Australian region tropical cyclone season is on track to be the least active since reliable records began,”

• #
pat

21 Apr: WSJ: SunEdison Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
Solar company had borrowed heavily to buy up wind and solar developers, accumulating a pile of debt that worried investors
By Peg Brickley and Liz Hoffman
The filing caps a dramatic decline for a company that was worth nearly \$10 billion last summer, when it nurtured plans to become a global clean-energy giant…
The company’s shares have lost 99% of their value in the past 12 months…
http://www.wsj.com/articles/sunedison-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection-1461247026

• #
Analitik

OT

This isn’t going to do the water levels in Tasmanian dams any good. I did think the gas power levels seemed down on NEM Watch but I hadn’t looked at Aneroid to see why

Hydro confirmed this morning the 58MW turbine had been off since Wednesday.
Hydro expects the unit to be back online later today.

BREAKING: Hydro confirm Trent gas turbine offline

• #
Asp

One of my science teachers taught me to be wary of averages and percentages. One of his favorite adages was: “If your head is in the oven and your feet are in the refrigerator you should be feeling alright on average”.
Averages can be used to hide all sorts of unwelcome data.

• #
pat

no dissent will be allowed:

21 Apr: Guardian: Damian Carrington: Times’s climate change coverage ‘distorted’ and ‘poor quality’
Newspaper is losing people’s trust on its global warming coverage, say group of UK’s leading climate advisers and top scientists in letter to the editor
“If you lose trust, you lose everything; and on this issue, you are losing trust,” said the group, in a letter to the Times editor, John Witherow (LINK), seen by the Guardian.
The group says the Times’s coverage: “appears designed systematically to undermine the credibility of climate science and the institutions that carry it out, and the validity of programmes aimed at reducing emissions.”
“Climate science has proven remarkably robust to repeated scrutiny, and multiple lines of evidence indicate that climate change and ocean acidification pose serious and increasing risks for the future,” the group says. “There is abundant evidence also that decarbonised energy systems can provide energy security at reasonable cost if they are properly planned.”
The group say they find two aspects of the Times’s coverage “particularly concerning”…READ ALL

says who?

The signatories of the letter, all members of the House of Lords, include Lord Deben, current chair of the government’s official advisers on global warming, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), as well as Lord Krebs, who chairs the CCC’s adaptation committee and is a former president of the British Science Association.
Seven of the signatories are Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS), the UK’s elite science academy, including two past presidents, Lord Rees and Lord May…

• #
ianl8888

… include Lord Deben

The very same who gave Climategate a big whitewash by refusing to actually read the emails before he annonced that all was in its’ rightful heaven.

He was congratulated on this ploy with: “You played a blinder, old man !”

A truly odious, vomitous person.

• #
pat

UN on the art of not being partisan:

21 Apr: Reuters: Louis Charbonneau: U.N. members fear U.S. ‘sabotage’ of Obama’s climate commitments
Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, current president of the 193-nation General Assembly, issued the warning in an interview with Reuters ahead of Friday’s U.N. signing ceremony for the Paris agreement aimed at slowing climate change…
“What scares us a little … is there is all this sabotage inside the United States against this commitment for climate change, including (with) the Supreme Court,” he said.
Lykketoft was referring Obama’s difficulties in replacing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year…
“Seen from a climate (agreement) implementation point-of-view, it’s very important how it plays out in the elections in the United States, including the selection of the missing member of the Supreme Court,” Lykketoft said.
***He said he was not taking a partisan position in the election, but added that the next U.S. leader should not be someone intent on backtracking on the Obama administration’s commitments…
Any Republican president might seek to undo Obama’s domestic plans to cut emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025 below 2005 levels, he said…
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/u-n-members-fear-u-sabotage-obamas-climate-223943527.html

• #
pat

the spin continues.

Sunedison was only bidding to becomes ‘a renewable energy “supermajor”‘:

21 Apr: Financial Times: Solar group SunEdison files for bankruptcy protection
SunEdison, one of the world’s largest solar power companies, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US, bringing an end to its ambitious bid to create a renewable energy “supermajor”…
Although the blow to confidence in the renewable energy industry from SunEdison’s failure could be significant, particularly following the bankruptcy of Abengoa of Spain, the impact on the world’s energy supplies will probably be limited, analysts say.
Supported by government mandates and tax breaks in developed countries, and increasingly competitive with fossil fuels in emerging economies thanks to plummeting costs, solar power is expected to grow strongly worldwide this year…
Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research firm, says he does not expect a bankruptcy filing by SunEdison to have a material impact on solar power worldwide. “While the company is clearly an important part of the industry, it is one of very many out there developing projects,” he said.
http://www.ft.com/fastft/2016/04/21/solar-group-sunedison-files-for-bankruptcy-protection/

don’t blame wind and solar…but at least Fortune remembers it was “the world’s largest clean energy company”:

21 Apr: Fortune: Katie Fehrenbacher: SunEdison’s Epic Failure Had Little to Do With Clean Energy
The news, and SunEdison’s rock bottom share price, will no doubt have deep effects on the growing global solar and clean energy industries. But SunEdison’s downfall isn’t rooted in the failure of solar and wind…
Strangely, it’s actually one of the best times in history to be a solar and wind project developer as well as and solar panel and wind turbine maker…
It was off of this coming boom in solar and wind that SunEdison started on its faulty, mismanaged acquisition path to try to become ***the world’s largest clean energy company***. It crumbled in the process…
Now it’s the largest clean energy failure in history.
http://fortune.com/2016/04/21/sun-edison-clean-energy-fail/

• #
Mike

Now it’s the largest clean energy failure in history.

“This Is Catastrophic” – Thousands Of Gallons Of Radioactive Waste Leak At Nuclear Site”

• #
Robk

Mike,
“The Washington state Department of Ecology said, “There is no indication of waste leaking into the environment.”
But the article quotes a worker saying how bad it is. There are some figures of guessed volumes from unknown sources. There is no data of radiation leakage, alarms are set very low. I appreciate you are wary of nuclear power. This site is of military use and is vintage, it is not abandoned as evidenced by the expenditure. Zerohedge has done some sloppy reporting here. The issues raised have little to do with a modern nuclear plant. Consider some of the sites where gallium arsenates are prepared for solar panels and semi conductors. There are OH&S standards for all these chemicals.

• #
Robk

The site is a former bomb making facility, little to do with energy for electricity.

• #
Mike

But the alleged clean green chemical processing for nuclear energy for electricity and for making bombs is much the same.

Thanks.

• #
pat

21 Apr: Bloomberg: SunEdison Filing Leaves Renewable Energy Developers Unfazed
by Jessica Shankleman & Chris Martin
Renewable energy companies distanced themselves from the collapse of SunEdison Inc., saying the largest bankruptcy in the U.S. this year won’t harm the industry.
***The world’s biggest developer of clean-energy projects*** sought protection from creditors after racking up \$16.1 billion of liabilities following a \$3.1 billion expansion spree that spooked investors and industry partners…
Others companies are already snapping up SunEdison assets. An hour after the bankruptcy filing, the British green energy supplier Ecotricity Group Ltd. announced it had acquired SunEdison’s U.K. portfolio of 800 solar rooftop installations on April 8 for a “seven-figure sum.” More precise terms weren’t disclosed…READ ON FOR GLOWING REPORTS ON THE FUTURE OF CLEAN ENERGY
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-21/sunedison-collapse-leaves-renewable-energy-developers-unfazed

• #

Just as there are ‘flaws in averages’ there are also ‘flaws’ in the concept of ‘equality’.
Even so-called ‘identical twins’ on closer examination have subtle differences.
I have never yet met two people who are ‘equal’. They are distinct, unique individuals.
I say there are ‘flaws in the political concept of equality’.

• #
Mike

The future of clean energy… Some more ‘GLOWING’ reports about other alleged clean energy.

“Leaking Beachfront Nuclear Reactor Near Miami Threatening Florida Everglades”

“Monday Humor? America’s “Most Polluted” Nuclear Weapons Site To Become National Park”
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-21/monday-humor-americas-most-polluted-nuclear-weapons-site-become-national-park

• #

Hmm!

Nuclear weapons as a clean energy.

Bit of a stretch.

Tony.

• #
Mike

Nukes are refined/enriched from the uranium ore using the same toxic chemical processes, for both civil and military purposes.

• #

Just curious here Mike.

Perhaps you might indicate the difference in enrichment levels for Nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation, and perhaps also indicate the level of enrichment of those spent nuclear fuel rods from the power plants, and then compare that to the existing enrichment level of the original ‘dirt in the ground’ where the Uranium comes from.

Tony.

• #
Mike

hi Tony.

I do a bit of gamma spectrometry as a hobby i felt compelled to pursue after the all those nuclear disasters in Japan, in particular, the one which led to Cesium boiling off nuclear fuel and spent fuel at the Fukishima plant. Cesium has a much lower boiling point than Plutonium so the Plutonium which boils at around 3000 degrees C was largely left behind.

It is also soluble in water and behaves much like Potassium in the body of mammals, fish etc and leaches out eventually unlike Strontium which behaves.mimics calcium and is comprised into the bone and never leaches out generally.

” Natural uranium is a mixture of three isotopes, or species: U234, U235 and U238. The most common isotope is U238, which makes up 99 percent of all natural uranium. All uranium isotopes are radioactive. The radioactive decay of uranium in rocks and soil forms radon, an invisible and odorless radioactive gas.

The main use of uranium is to fuel nuclear power plants. Uranium can be separated, or enriched, to increase the concentration of one isotope relative to another. The enriched fraction has increased U235.”

Natural radioactive rocks and dust are not purified, so getting a whiff in the nose of some crushed ore is not so much of a problem in the lungs as say getting a whiff of ‘concentrated’ yellowcake (Uranium oxide).

Here are some gamma spectra of uranium at various levels of enrichment: http://amptek.com/uranium-and-plutonium-spectra/

The terms ‘enriched’ and ‘concentrated’ are terms which can be confusing. Like i say, getting a whiff of concentrated uranium or any other concentrated radionuclide in the nose is not like taking a whiff of unconcentrated uranium ore. In any case, my blight is that the nuclear industry creates vast amount of chemical emissions which are extremely toxic. Not just radioactive emissions.

Concentrating alcohol out of beer to make grappa does not require chemical processing for instance. Getting concentrated uranium oxide out of uranium ore does require vast amounts of extremely toxic chemicals..

Getting uranium ore out of the ground presents another problem. usually, radon takes a while to get to the surface of our planet and usually undergoes decay on the way up. By ‘aerating’ and bringing the ore up to the surface, the radon gets a head start into the atmosphere. My own personal observation/theory.

For those who are interested in doing some gamma spectrometry/spectroscopy, here is a site ( http://www.gammaspectacular.com/ ) that helped me out greatly. I do my own checks to see if fish are contaminated with Cesium or fallout but have not found any yet which is good. As i say, getting a concentrated particle of any radionuclide up the nose is my biggest concern as far as radioactive health risks are concerned. It is for that reason i feel for the veterans who have to use depleted uranium when they are in the process of blowing things to smithereens.

• #
Mike

You cannot just ‘average out’ a radiation dose the way nuclear medicine does to calculate a dose.

If the nuke is inhaled, the body is not given an equal “dose”. Instead Newtons ‘inverse square’ law comes into effect and the cells which are closer to the ‘point source’ of radiation get a larger “dose”.

Using an average is &#*&%!##, but that is what these people do up to this day. Too bad if an alpha radiation emitter particle is inhaled like plutonium or depleted uranium.

• #
Geoff Sherrington

Mike,

Some aspects of natural gamma radiation in ore search (Original Research Article)
Journal of Geochemical Exploration, Volume 8, Issues 1–2, October 1977, Pages 325-335
Geoffrey H. Sherrington

The work you are getting excited about was common wisdom back in the 50s, let alone 1977 when I tried out a new detector and reported on it.
So please, quit getting excited and claiming original thinking for a once over lightly of well known science.

Already once, I have told you that depleted uranium is way, way down on the list of substances that might be a health concern.
As for other isotopes, if nuclear is so dangerous it is used in bombs, can I recount how 50 years after that crude bomb was sent to Nagasaki, I stood at ground zero and watched as a large city went about daily business as if there had never been a bomb.
Get it into your mind that a whole industry of cretins has invented and spread huge fears from radioactivity and so people are conditioned by this propaganda to have entirely unrealistic views of danger.

• #
Mike

So lets be clear..You never had any experience or knowledge of the extremely toxic extraction process used to enrich this in your view benign material?

You have never seen what happens when tailings dams burst and the like?

Thanks!

• #
Mike

As is usual, no experience of what happens down stream.

They have been indoctrinated to think nuclear uses pure H2O in the refining process much like getting Vodka out of fermented potato peelings.

• #
Rereke Whakaaro

I do a bit of gamma spectrometry as a hobby i (sic) felt compelled to pursue after the all those nuclear disasters in Japan, in particular, the one which led to Cesium boiling off nuclear fuel and spent fuel at the Fukishima plant.

Well Mike, I certainly agree that you know “a bit” in very great details. But you seem woefully lacking outside of your narrow area of interest.

Firstly, what do you mean by, “all of those nuclear disasters in Japan”? Can you list them for us?

Secondly, can you tell us why Cesium boiled off the spent fuel at the Fukishima plant? What was the sequence of events that allowed that incident to occur?

Can you also share your thoughts on how and why the reactors melted down, in the initial incident? And can you explain to us how radioactive gasses came to be released, some time after the initial event?

There was obviously something different about the three time-seperated events: Cesium from the spent fuel rods; reactor meltdown; and radioactive gas release. Can you tell us what the differences were?

• #
ianl8888

We know Mike of the Trollpath won’t answer questions like that.

They just keep turning up with their silly mouths, dodging all pointy science and then go away. It puzzles me what they expect to gain, but then I’m not nearly as stupid as they are so understanding is unlikely ever to be mine.

• #
Mike

The point is that there are different kinds of radiation, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. You cannot get a specific answer without asking a specific question. For example, is the radiation from an alpha emitting radioactive source worse than the radiation from a gamma emitting source of radiation given that both are just as radioactive as each other?

The answer is yes, a radiation dose from an alpha emitter is vastly worse given that gamma sources of radiation even though both do the same number of clicks using a detector.

Thanks

Ps… I am a hobbyist.

• #
Mike

The example i give is hypothetical

• #
ianl8888

The example i give is hypothetical

How tedious of you …

Your answer is nonsensical, of course. Even you know that, dimly, through a dirty lookin glass.

The best advice I can offer is that you keep quiet and spend some time learning, so your “hobbyist” tendencies become less obvious.

• #
Mike

You sound confused.

• #
Wayne Job

Tony the full term for an atomic weapon is “A harmonic alignment of pure substances” The purer the better, the more unstable the element the less accurate the harmonics need to be. The less the alignment the dirtier the bomb. For power generation the purity is less important just the amount needed to make it unstable.

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Turtle of WA

Alas, this is why central planning, by attempting to make life better for the average person, makes life better for not one individual.

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Analitik

OT

Did anyone notice that Alice Springs had a 10 hour blackout at the end of January? I don’t recall seeing any news at all at the time. Apparently, their 43 year old gas/diesel 41 MW piston generators at the Ron Goodin plant are pretty much end of life and they’ve dallied on replacing it while the local utility has concentrated on the 5 MW of PV at 2 solar farms and also the dud CSP plant at Hermannsburg.

http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2016/01/31/end-of-life-generators-cause-blackout/

Territory Generation Chief Executive Officer, Tim Duignan, has committed A\$75 million for 41 MW of new piston gas generators to expand the Owen Springs Power Station so the Ron Goodin plant can be shut down.

Of course the renewables lobby has piped in, questioning why some of the money isn’t going towards energy storage rather than a total capacity replacement of the existing plant.

http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2016/04/05/new-lobby-demands-more-solar-less-gas/

Comment #7 by Steve Brown is a pretty good response to the greentards but he doesn’t bring up the difference in scale between the current farms and the replacement generators.

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MudCrab

I am actually mildly surprised by this.

We have always designed to the extremes – 5th and 95th percentiles – and more or less assumed this has always been the case.

Just last week I was reading about armoured vehicles and found an almost off the cuff remark that WW2 designers took the ‘bizarre methodologies’ of borrowing the shortest and tallest guys to test turret arrangements. I was actually surprised enough to write to the author over that comment as that is almost exactly what we do for testing.

Strange that from within one field something can seem so much common sense that no one doubted things hadn’t always been this way, but from within another they can be considered an entirely new way of thinking.

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pat

21 Apr: USA Today: John Coleman: Get politics out of climate debate: Opposing view
Science has taken a back seat at the United Nations.
(Weather Channel founder John Coleman has spent more than 60 years as a meteorologist, including seven years as the original weathercaster on ABC’s Good Morning America)
The environmentalists, bureaucrats and politicians who make up the U.N.’s climate panel recruit scientists to research the climate issue. And they place only those who will produce the desired results. Money, politics and ideology have replaced science.
U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres has called for a “centralized transformation” that is “going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different” to combat the alleged global warming threat. How many Americans are looking forward to the U.N. transforming their lives?…
When all the scare talk is pushed aside, it is the science that should be the basis for the debate. And the hard cold truth is that the basic theory has failed. Many notable scientists reject man-made global warming fears. And several of them, including a Nobel Prize winner, are in the new Climate Hustle movie…
The Paris climate agreement is all about empowering the U.N. and has nothing to do with the climate.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/04/21/earth-day-paris-united-nations-weather-channel-editorials-debates/83349848/

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pat

ABC still no Sunedison bankruptcy piece.
ABC website search result: Did you mean: sandison?

Fairfax: no Sunedison bankruptcy story as yet.
most recent mention:

15 Apr: SMH: Dani Burger: Wall St flat as banks rise, tech shares fall
SunEdison soared 58 per cent after saying it found no misstatements in its financial statements.

LOL. 58% up after a 99% drop, Fairfax? how many cents was it?

if only…

22 Apr: SMH: Peter Hannam: ‘Walking in the other direction’: Malcolm Turnbull’s broad retreat on climate
And a fresh concern surfaced this week with 61 leading scientists writing to Turnbull decrying the government’s decision last month to end grants from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)…
Andrew Blakers, who led development of the solar PV technology being adopted by the world’s largest producers, said all new electricity investment in Australia over the past five years had been in solar or wind energy.
“This is incredible”, says Blakers, who heads the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University. “You don’t turn off R&D spending when there’s a revolution under way.”…
Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters said there’s “an obvious disconnect between the Prime Minster’s rhetoric in Paris last year and his actions in Canberra”.
“Presiding over cuts to CSIRO’s world-leading climate research and gutting renewable technology research is stupid on so many levels.”…
“The magnitude of the changes has been a surprise even for veteran climate scientists,” Petteri Taalas, WMO’s secretary-general, said ahead of the UN gathering.
“The state of the planet is changing before our eyes.”

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el gordo

‘…and carve out \$1 billion from the existing aid budget to help threatened Pacific neighbours build “climate resilience” and cut emissions.’

Good move, more cyclone shelters and whatever energy mix they desire.

Greg Hunt is signing that wretched document today. supporting 129 other counties in folly, while boofhead Turnbull has just realized he has lost his support base and wonders how to recover it before the election.

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pat

21 Apr: Bloomberg: Hedge Funds Biggest Losers in SunEdison’s ‘Magic Money Machine’
by Simone Foxman, Brian Eckhouse, Carol Ko
SunEdison, which was lauded as a victory for hedge funds that get involved in boardroom affairs, has turned into a defeat, sparking losses at Altai Capital Management, AQR Capital Management, Greenlight Capital and Omega Advisors. Owning more than half of the company’s shares in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, hedge funds will probably count SunEdison among their largest failures of the past year.
Hedge funds helped fuel SunEdison’s global buying binge, championing its strategy of forming public holding companies called yieldcos to buy its wind and solar farms…
“It was a magic money machine,” said Gordon Johnson, an analyst at Axiom Capital Management, a boutique broker-dealer. “If you were investing in SunEdison, you were betting that the thirst for yield was going to be good for a while. They had vehicles — yieldcos — that could deliver growth and buy SunEdison’s projects.”…
“Now, it does seem like something of a graveyard” for hedge funds, Johnson added…
In a 2015 letter to clients obtained by Bloomberg, Altai claimed credit for helping SunEdison grow rapidly, including the initial public offering of yieldco TerraForm Power Inc. in July 2014…
Altai, which counted SunEdison as its largest investment, has fallen alongside the company. The hedge fund lost 17.5 percent in the first two months of 2016 after dropping 39 percent in 2015, according to an investor document…
SunEdison’s stock fell almost 99 percent since its June 23 peak. Roughly 32 percent of common shares were owned by hedge funds, according to filings available on April 17…
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-21/hedge-funds-biggest-losers-in-sunedison-s-magic-money-machine

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doubtingdave

Just for a laugh , this article reminds me of a chat with my elder sister way back when i was a nine year old , when i asked her why is it that on the news they say that the average family in England has 2.5 children , she replied that it was just a statistical average , but looking at you our family is a clear example of the facts matching the average , she was and still is a clever cloggs my sister , but has a PHD and decades of research and teaching in physics , so was probably correct as usual 😉

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Ruairi

The average warmist can sit,
By contortions in any cockpit,
As they wriggle and squeeze,
Thus achieving a hockey-stick fit.

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john

SunEdison files for bankruptcy.

http://dailybail.com/home/sune-sets-sunedison-files-for-bankruptcy.html

There is a lot more going on behind the scenes. I will keep updating with new articles.

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pat

21 Apr: Financial Times: SunEdison: Death of a solar star
by Stephen Foley and Ed Crooks
The past 12 months have been rough on many US solar power companies, including SunPower and Elon Musk’s SolarCity, but SunEdison is the only one to have blown up in such a spectacular fashion…
Solar power is fundamentally a low-risk business. Developers, unlike their counterparts in oil and gas, do not have to explore to find resources, and they do not have to manage wild swings in product costs. Projects are typically signed up on 20-year contracts with fixed or predictably rising prices, and the global market is growing rapidly as falling costs make solar increasingly competitive against fossil fuels. The downside of that stability is a crowded market in which returns are generally low…
Jim Cramer, the television share tipster, approvingly described it as “the Valeant Pharmaceuticals of solar”, just months before that similarly hyped drug company revealed hidden acquisitions and accounting mistakes that wiped out billions of dollars of shareholder value.
Like Valeant, SunEdison was beloved of hedge fund managers, who revelled in the idea they had spotted a lucrative opportunity hidden in the weeds of its financial filings…
David Einhorn, the founder of Greenlight Capital, who has invested \$243m in the company, hailed its prospects at the Robin Hood investment conference in 2014…
Following his lead, dozens of funds run by industry luminaries such as Steven Cohen, Lee Cooperman, George Soros and Izzy Englander have all appeared on the shareholder register in the past two years…
SunEdison used to show investors what it called the “virtuous circle of value creation”…
When investor confidence cracked, that virtuous circle turned vicious, with shocking speed…ETC
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/04fca062-07a3-11e6-a70d-4e39ac32c284.html

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Tim Hammond

To give a silly example, since a few people have one or no arms, the average number of arms is slightly less than two. Do we build anything for people with slightly less than two arms? Or the expected average of 100 throws of a dice is 3.5 – i would be hugely surprised if anybody ever threw a 3.5!

To take a more pernicious example, in the last election in the UK, Labour claimed that “people are £1,600 worse off since 2010”. This was true but it measured the median wage only. And the median wage had fallen not because people on the median wage in 2010 were being paid less in 2015. In fact they were being paid more. The median wage had fallen because lots of previously unemployed people had got jobs, and of course most of those were below the median wage.

So a “true”average was used that made it sound as if things were bad when in fact things had gotten better – people were being paid more and more people were employed on higher wages than unemployment benefit.

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ScotsmaninUtah

looking at the code to the GCMs one can see many parameritizations used in the “card decks” initial conditions value assignments. ( compared to the “constants” )
In a previous posting of Gavin Schmidt explaining how the models become smart at reproducing behaviours such as cyclones interacting, air currents moving etc
it does seem dangerous that many of the parameters set at initial “runtime” are themselves averages born of the mass of interpolations from the datasets.

One could ask how come the model can know to create peaks and troughs from averages ? The stochastic algorithyms synthesing behavior must be very smart indeed …

Gavin Schmidt also mentioned the range of scales covered by the models is huge, atomic to cosmological ,indeed the models have their work cut out, and all to produce an anomolous average temperature rise which is years into the future.

Using averages in a mathematical model of such complexity requires a profound degree of honesty especially in the claims made about the accuracy of the output results.

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Off topic:

CSIRO pays for ceremonies to rid new buildings of evil spirits.

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poitsplace

We make the same kind of stupid mistakes with policy decisions…assuming society’s demographics should be mirrored in every work place. We do studies at low concentrations, ensuring we will only find the individuals that are most sensitive to concentrations of a compound (and who would often quickly learn to avoid them) and then treat the results as if it was a roulette wheel and that EVERYONE is randomly susceptible to those levels.

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Greebo

Explains why I can never buy shoes that fit…

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John A

BMI?

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Kratoklastes

The irrelevance of mean temperatures – and therefore the irrelevance of the core catechism of the entire Cult of Thermaggeddon – has been my hobby-horse for over 20 years.

My reasoning – formulated as a grad student in Economics, arguing with a visitor from ABARE who was outright gullible – was that ‘global warming’ (as it was still then known) mattered iff (if and only if) it could be shown to have quantifiable economic effects. In particular, it has to have discernible effects on agriculture (that’s actually the ONLY part of national economies that could plausibly be affected).

When the data is properly analysed, there is absolutely no meaningful relationship between global mean temperature and global agricultural output.

By ‘properly analysed’, I mean that all the data is reduced to stationarity (as is required for a model to have appropriate statistical properties), and that tests for parameter stability are undertaken.

And that’s also using the Cult’s view of the world – that it is rising temperature that is the problem (and not, say, temp, rainfall/drought, extreme weather)

So here’s a really simple statistical study – of the type that I might have asked 2nd year econometrics students to perform as a ‘first cut’ eyeball test to see if a line of research was worth investigating further…

Consider the growth rate of aggregate global ag output vs the annual change in global mean temperature. The cleanest data I have for global ag output only goes back to 1961.

Let’s do a really simple evaluation of whether global average temperature change has any meaningful effect in a super-simple regression –

GAOt = a0 + a1 x GMTt.

where
GAOt = Global Agricultural Output index for year t (source: FAOSTAT)
GMTt = Global Mean Temperature for year t (source: Earth-Policy.org); and
ai are parameters.

This yields the following estimates for the sensitivity of global ag output to changes in temperature:

a0: level 2.38; s.e. 0.17 (p-value 1.65E-18)
a1: level -4.6; s.e. 1.46 (p-value 0.002)

The intercept (a0) is the underlying trend growth in agriculture (2.38% p.a.), which comports reasonably well with changes in total factor productivity plus changes in land under ag use. It is strongly non-negative.

The regression coefficient on temperature (a1) is -4.6: its standard interpretation is usually that a 1 degree C increase in temperature leads, ceteris paribus, to a 4.6 percentage point decrease in the growth rate of ag output).

The estimate for the temperature coefficient is statistically significant (at a significant level of 5%), and that’s the sort of result that will get people excited. “1 degree warming will wipe out ~2 years’ worth of ag growth!!!!” the press-releases will scream.

However the actual likely observable effect is incredibly weak when assessed in the context of ‘real world’ numbers (the data show an average annual change of 0.01 degrees C, with an s.d. of 0.12).

Given that there’s an underlying ag output growth rate of 2.38%, a 0.046% reduction in the ‘average’ year (i.e., a year where the temperature changes by its average in the data) will be indistinguishable from noise.

Hell – double it, if you like (i.e., warming of 2 degrees C a century): the effect on ag output is still still less than half the embedded noise in the underlying growth path.

Note also: the an average annual change of 0.01 degrees C comes with an s.d. of 0.12 – which with a sample size of 50 means that the sample mean is not statistically different from zero. The s.d. of the mean is sample s.d./sqrt(N), where N is sample size… so for this data the s.d. of the mean is 0.016… so the null hypothesis “mean = 0” is not rejected.

So now let’s see what temperature change has to happen in order to drive the world into negative ag output growth: it would require a sufficient change in temperature to completely offset the underlying growth in ag output – that is, a change of 0.52 degrees in a year.

The unconditional likelihood of a change of 0.52 degrees C in a single year is given by the sample s.d. of the temperature-change data (which, recall, is 0.12 degrees C). A change of 0.52 degrees C in a single year is a 4.3-sigma event.

A mean±4.3-sigma interval contains 0.9999829202 of the probability mass – the tail mass is 0.0000170798 and since we are only considering one side of the distribution, we halve that.

Do some sums, and it turns out that a change of 0.52 degrees C would be expected to be observed once in every 117,100 years.

Now let’s go ‘Mythbusters’ up in this bizzatch: let’s test to see if we could crank up a1 (the parameter estimate for temperature change) far enough to make it swamp underlying growth in a ‘twice normal’ year (just to lower the bar).

a1 would need to be -119.21 in order for a 0.02 degree C change to drive world ag output growth below zero (and it would only do so for the year in question).

Again, using straightforward z-based stats… given the estimate for a1, a value of -119.21 is 79-sigma away from the estimated mean, which has odds so low that it can be called zero without loss of explanatory power.

So let’s get this straight:

(1) the probability that increases in temperature in the ‘normal’ range will lead to significant effects on global ag output are as near to zero as makes no odds;
(2) the probability that a one-year temperature change is sufficiently large to drag global ag output below zero is consistent with it being a once-in-a-hundred-millennia event.

And that’s before bothering to consider how impossible it is to forecast the next round of improvements in technology (both ag and non-ag).

I haven’t bothered with showing the results for ‘levels’ data for temperature: I’ve done the analysis using levels, and none of the ai are significant.

In any case, it’s highly likely that the global mean temperature is a random walk and so would need to be ‘differenced’ before using it in a regression. Even if it’s not a random walk (it totally is), the Cult of Thermageddon claims that the temperature has a trend, and so it is not stationary and only changes should be used for statistical analysis.

Very (almost) lastly: any person with minimal numeracy can construct as little excel spreadsheet to show that it is possible for an average to change in very benign ways.

Let’s accept – arguendo – that world average temps are going to increase by a degree. If that happens due to global nightly minimum temperatures all rising by enough to push the average up 1 degree, nobody would notice (and ag output would be unchanged). If it happened by the coldest bits of the world getting a couple of degrees less cold in the depths of winter, again, nobody would notice.

CODA: note that this has shown tentative preliminary evidence for an absence of significant economic effect due any warming within statistically-plausible ranges. It has not required anybody to take any position on whether the putative increases in temperature were caused in whole or in part by human-source contributions to the atmosphere (be it C02, or methane from cow bottom-burps). That can be an exercise for another day – I am off to watch the Pies humiliate themselves again.